Wallace Broecker

2008 Balzan Prize for the Science of Climate Change

For his extraordinary contributions to the understanding of climate change through his discoveries concerning the role of the oceans and their interactions with the atmosphere, as well as the role of glacial changes and the records contained in ice cores and ocean sediments. His contributions have been significant in understanding both gradual and abrupt climate change.


Biographical and Bibliographical Data

WALLACE SMITH BROECKER, born in Chicago, Illinois, on 29 November 1931 (*1931 – †2019), is a U.S. citizen.

He is currently Newberry Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University, a member of the U.S. Academy of Sciences and a foreign member of The Royal Society, London.

Wallace Broecker received his undergraduate degree in Physics at Columbia College in 1953 and went on to receive his Ph.D. in Geology from Columbia University in 1958. He joined the Columbia faculty in 1959 (Assistant Professor 1959-1961; Associate Professor 1961-1964; Professor 1964-1977).


2008 The Benjamin Franklin Award, Franklin Institute

2006 Crafoord Prize in Geosciences, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

2002 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, University of Southern California

2002 Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship, U.S. Academy of Sciences

2000 Don J. Easterbrook Distinguished Scientist Award, Geological Society of America

1999 Nevada Medal, U.S. Desert Research Institute

1997 Oak Park-River Forest High School’s Tradition of Excellence Award

1996 National Medal of Science, bestowed by the President of the United States

1996 Blue Planet Prize, Asahi Glass Foundation, Tokyo

1995 Roger Revelle Medal, American Geophysical Union

1990 Wollaston Medal, Geological Society of London

1990 Joseph Priestly Award, Dickinson College

1987 Vetlesen Award, G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation, New York

1987 V.M. Goldschmidt Award, U.S. Geochemical Society

1986 Alexander Agassiz Medal, U.S. National Academy of Sciences

1986 Urey Medal, European Geophysical Union

1985 A.G. Huntsman Award for Excellence in the Marine Sciences, A.G. Huntsman Foundation, Canada

1984 Arthur L. Day Medal, Geological Society of America

1979 Maurice W. Ewing Medal, American Geophysical Union.

Wallace Broecker has authored over 450 journal articles and the following ten books:

– Fixing Climate: What Past Climate Changes Reveal about the Current Threat –and How to Counter It, W.S. Broecker and R. Kunzig, Hill and Wang, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux Books, April 2008

– A Business Executive’s Guide to Global Warming, Eldigio Press, NY, 2005

– The Ocean’s Role in Climate Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Eldigio Press, NY,2005

– Fossil Fuel CO2 and the Angry Climate Beast, Eldigio Press, NY, 2003

– Greenhouse Puzzles, W.S. Broecker and T.-H. Peng, Eldigio Press, NY, 1992; revised edition, 1998

– The Glacial World According to Wally, W.S. Broecker, Eldigio Press, NY, 1992; second revised edition, 1995; third revised edition, 2002

– How to Build a Habitable Planet, W.S. Broecker, Eldigio Press, NY, 1985 (Japanese, German translations, 1993, Chinese translation, 1998)

– Tracers in the Sea, W.S. Broecker and T.-H. Peng, Eldigio Press, NY, 1982

– Chemical Oceanography, W.S. Broecker, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., NY, 1974

– Chemical Equilibria in the Earth, W.S. Broecker and V. Oversby, McGraw-Hill, NY, 1971.

(October 2008)

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